About Shared Decision Making

"What matters to you?"
Encouraging more meaningful conversations between people

To help you get the best possible outcome from your consultation or visit, we need to understand the things that are really important to you. We encourage you to share what matters to you with your health or care professional.  Although they may not always manage to address everything that you share, it is important for you to have the conversation so that they can help you as much as possible.

In your consultation we encourage you to try to:

  1. Describe your experience of your illness or symptoms
  2. Explain any social circumstances that might be relevant to your illness or symptoms
  3. Talk about your attitude to risk as well as your worries or concerns
  4. Describe your goals and preferences and what you want out of any treatment that may be offered
  5. Articulate any other support you may need to help you to get better

It’s also a good idea for you to ask your health or care professional the following questions before any test, treatment or procedure:

  1. What are the Benefits?
  2. What are the Risks?
  3. What are the Alternatives?
  4. What if I do Nothing?

In the medical world this is referred to as shared decision making, but it essentially means having a good conversation, which draws on your doctor or nurse’s clinical expertise and your own experiences to result in the best possible treatment and outcome for you.


BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) are working together over the next five years to progress the involvement of people in their own care and shared decision making. 

To help improve our services, we are carrying out a pilot study about your consultation or visit with your clinician, healthcare professional or specialist practitioner. Your answers will be anonymous and no information about you is stored with the survey. 

We will be sending you a simple anonymous survey following your appointment with us. It will only take a few minutes for you to help us plan how we can progress in delivering personalised care in the future. 

Thank you for your help

What is Shared Decision Making?

Shared Decision Making ensures that individuals are supported to make decisions that are right for them.

It’s a collaborative process through which a clinician supports a patient to reach a decision about their treatment so that they can live their best life.

The conversation brings together the clinicians expertise; such as treatment options, evidence, risk and benefits, with what the patient knows best; their preferences, personal circumstances, goals, values and beliefs.

For more information go online to: www.england.nhs.uk/shared-decision-making